Cassette Tape Ministries
Do You Recycle Your Cassette Tapes?
Many churches have Tape Ministries of one
kind or another. Since about 1990, the cassette
tape as stayed about the same price. At wholesale,
a good quality T90 music tape with labels
and case are about $1.10 or less. If a church
only makes an Archive set of tapes, it will
only cost $55.00 per year.
Cassette Recorder and players are not all
the same. Cassette tapes are not all the
same. Cassette tapes are an excellent method
of passing information around. When a cassette
is recorded, on one machine and played on
another, the second machines could be very
different. The effects on the physical tape
can have a major impact the next time the
tape is used on another cassette player or
When a recorded tape from a church is passed
around, the next player could tighten the
tape, stretch the tape, track poorly or the
pickup wheel could be too slow. Any one of
these problems could make recycling cassettes
a problem for the church. Sure, often there
is no problem. But if you think that your
tape recorderís record life seems short,
it is most likely due to recycled tapes coming
back in poor condition. When a cassette recorder
has to work harder of tape that are too tight
or poorly tracked, the newly recorded tape
will most likely be stretched, having wows
Typically, a decent cassette recorder should
last 5 years or 400 hours of record time
before you encounter major problems. Tape
heads of a church recorder should be cleaned
every 10 hours of record time or playback
time. If you are getting shorter cassette
recorder life than 5 years, it is either
because you have a cheap cassette recorder
or you are recycling tapes.
Here are some other tips for Cassette units.
If you have any other suggestions for this
article, send your e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 1.) When recording, set the record level
to about 8 or 9 and have the meter just touching
the reds. This generally gets the best signal
to noise ratio and keeps signals from overloading
or disappearing when thing get quiet.
- 2.) When transporting tape in a car, keep
the tapes away from door pocket and off the
hump of cars with rear wheel drive. In either
case, doing this will cause sound distortion
which sounds like a signal drop. When a drive
shaft spins fast, it can create a low level
magnetic field. After a few highway trips,
you could loose a lot of your tape signal.
- 3.) If you must recycle a tape, you should
always rewind the tape in both directions
until it runs freely. If after 2 attempts
the tape still behave slow, donít use the
- 4.) Donít label tapes until they are sold
or ready for itís normal use.
- 5.) Donít use T120 tapes. They wear out tape
machines real fast.
- 6.) If your church decides to sell tapes,
ask for donations to the tape ministry instead.
This allows those who can not afford to buy
tapes the opportunity to get them. If you
feel that you must sell tapes, $5.00 (1996)
per tape is reasonable. However, you should
have a sign in the church lobby that indicates
that tapes sales are used to support the
tape program and sound system improvements,
acoustical maitainance and nothing else.
A comment from a web surffer.
FWIW: I can not confirm the cause, but-
I started erasing tapes I made on my (or
church's)deck using a Radio Shack handheld
($25) 120vac eraser. Two of those erased
tapes stopped the recorder while in record
mode. No obvious reason - unless the tape
"stuck" to itself ? and put enough
tension on the end of tape sensing to stop
the recorder. This happened once in the TASCAM
dual deck at the church (during service -
missed a few words of sermon) and once in
my personal Kenwood KXW-8050. Maybe I got
too close or held the eraser next to tape
too long and did a partial melt? I have since
started fast forwarding and rewinding (as
you suggested) each erased tape. No problems
since (so far).
[Tape type: I am using TDK Type I 90 min
tapes - since we are not using a high speed
duplicator ( i do them at home ). 75 cents
each at discount store.]
-- Max Morse, Lakewood, CO
(ps: nice new graphics, etc on your www site.)
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Copyright © July 1996, 2001
by JdB Sound, Acoustic.